Q: I need help, but I have no money or food. My husband has been the sole provider for 19 years and now I have been cut of
He had cut me off since separating, even though we live in the same house(different rooms). We are going for divorce of bed and board and he is holding off. I need to file, because I need money to eat and do normal daily things. I’m now suffering from depression and have no energy from that and not eating. I need help asap! I don’t know how to do this without money, but I know I have spousal privileges after 22 years together and 19 1/2 married. This has now become emotional abuse. He orders door dash for him and our daughter and thinks it’s funny that I go without eating. He says he doesn’t have to give me a penny. He’s making $150,000 a year, plus gets his car, gas, and phone paid for by work. I make $24,000 a year and have only worked 3 years.
Unfortunately, I have no one to borrow money from. What do I do with $5 in the bank?
A: Im sorry that your current setting is dire and suggest that you meet with a family law specialist as quickly as possible to get better educated on your rights in a divorce matter. While I know that it will be difficult, this is where you want to hire the best lawyer you can afford - this is not a setting where you can afford to hire a cheap lawyer or a lawyer willing to represent you on a flat fee basis. A credible lawyer will have work ahead of him as part of his representation and potentially will need to file an application for temporary support and other relief. If needed, you may need to borrow money from family or friends to retain the lawyer but given your husbands financial setting, he can afford to hire a competent lawyer and you need a lawyer skillset. Start off with the presumption that a good lawyer in your setting will require an upfront retainer between 5,000 and 7500.
A: Thanks for your question. I am sorry your husband is treating you so horribly. You are entitled to support both pending the divorce and subsequent to the divorce due to the fact that your husband's income is so much higher than your own. Of course, if he does not do so voluntarily, you will need to petition the court for support. If you have access to a joint bank account, you can certainly use said monies to retain an attorney. There are also various "legal services" that can perhaps assist you and provide you with an attorney at no cost. I do strongly recommend that you consult with a Family Law attorney so that your matter can be more fully discussed and you are made fully aware of your rights with regards to support your husband is to pay you and with regards to distribution of assets such as property, retirement assets, bank accounts etc. Generally speaking, after such a long-term marriage, you are entitled to 50% of any of the aforementioned assets notwithstanding whose name they are in.
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